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sheephead24

what breed of dog to get?

41 posts in this topic

Hi, I am looing into getting my first hunting dog this spring. My dads lab is getting up there and probably only has 1 year left to hunt and I am wondering what breed to get. We basically hunt pheasants 75% and ducks 25% of the time. And I would like a smaller breed because I already have 2 dogs in the house. What are my options besides a lab or a golden retreiver? And has anyone heard of a Viszla, and what are they like? Thanks for any info.

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For pheasants a Brittany can be great, but if your style of ducking hunting is sitting in a cold blind in the late season you will want to look to any other breed. If it was me I would considering a Griffon or maybe a Gsp. I think your dedication to training will be the biggest factor in a dogs ability to hunt both pheasants & ducks. I have only trained for upland bird hunting. I can only imagine the training for duck hunting is different then pheasant hunting. It would stand to reason that training a dog to do both would take twice the training, after obedience.

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Springer - they can do both upland and waterfowl and are smaller.

Plus - they are chick magnets with those big floppy ears...

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One more vote for a Brittany.

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I'm a bit biased but it is hard to beat the combo family/hunting dog that is the French Spaniel! Do a google search to find out more about them. Great dogs!

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sheephead - you have a handful of options to choose from. Viszlas are great upland dogs, but I rarely see them used on waterfowl. I'm sure they are capable dogs, I just haven't see them in the duck boats around MN.

First thing to decide is whether you prefer hunting upland with a pointer or a flusher. That will roughly split your choices in half and help you narrow your search. Next, do you do much/any cold weather waterfowl hunting? If you do, the shorter coated dogs may be less desirable for cold water retrieving. Here would be a short list of options to check into IMO:

Flushers:

* Smaller bred lab (many around 50lbs out there these days)

* Springer Spaniel

* Boykin Spaniel

Pointers:

-- Short coated

* German Shorthair Pointer (GSP)

* Viszla

* Brittany Spaniel

-- Longer coated

* Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (WPG)

* German Wirehair Pointer (GWP)

If this is your first hunting dog, you also need to think about the training aspect: will you do all your own training yourself or send the dog to a pro? It's hard to screw up training a well bred lab or springer. Training the pointing breeds can be a bit more involved and take more time/patience. My experience has been that they think a bit more independently (which can be good and bad at times). That being said, I love having a pointing dog and always will. \:\)

Whatever breed you decide to go with, DO YOUR HOMEWORK and pick a breeder that breeds what you are looking for, not just cranking out puppies. There can be tons of variation within the same breed.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Blaze

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german wirehair wouldn't be a bad idea..points the roosters and excellent water dog

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Sheephead24

Do a web search for versatile breeds. I know I was very surprised to learn about a lot of breeds that I knew very little about or did not know they even existed.

I got a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon 3 years ago. I am pleased with my Griffon, but there are other choices out there that are very good as well. So, I am not going to say that you HAVE to get a Griffon. Do your research and see what breed is the best fit for you.

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My vote : Get a Brittany, pheasants taste better than ducks. Good house dogs, not too big, and they get along well with other dogs.

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A springer is a great choice for flushing roosters & makes a great early season duck dog, also works well in a goose blind! Very smart, easy to train, sheds very little, & they love kids.

PoleBender

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get a lab! black,chocolate, yellow dont matter. there great all around hunters mild mannered and great with kids. my 2 bits worth.

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I would go with the wachtelhund. Any body heard of them?? My dad was in the same situation as you sheephead. So he did some research and came upon this breed. They are basically like a german spaniel. Great upland and waterfowl hunters, and trained to track deer as well. Best dog the family has ever owned as well. Check them out [Note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank You]

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I hunt a Vizsla. Great dog, don't know if I will own another breed in this lifetime. Very loyal, easy to train as they have a high drive to please you. Thye also are not common, which is a positive to me as the breed does not have different blood lines to decifer. Very few breed problems.

I hunt pheasants 95% of the time, but have had him in the duck boat with me. The only problem I had is he gets cold easily after getting wet. I don't think it is any better or worse then another short haired breed, but it happens. If he gets wet pheasant hunting and continues to run and hunt he is fine, but the sitting gets him.

If you have any other breed related questions, let me know. I will give you my opinion.

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danget you said no goldens...well while workin dog trials at the gamefair this summer i really liked watchin the cocker spaniels, some of them look like mini golden retrievers, they are really fast and on a lot of the trials they were in the top 3 time-wise. i think that they are really cool dogs

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Get a Brittish Lab. All the great lab features in a smaller package. grin.gif

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boykin spaniel might be a good dog to check into. Looks like a good combo duck/upland dog. Small but very capable of retrieving large waterfowl.

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I also own a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon... I have owned labs and springers over the years.. All really excellent dogs. The Griff is not as large as a lab...My female weighs 45 lbs and will probably get up to 50 lbs.. Griff's are terrific all around dogs...their coat sheds burrs and they can w/o question take cold weather/water. Excellent upland game and duck/goose dog thus the Versitle title. When they reach adult age they have a down coat under the wire hair... Helps them shed water and insulates. My Griff is 11 months old and I am extremely pleased with her ability and intelligence. She has been very easy to train and is great around our family.

There is a great deal of information on the Web about the breed. Just google the breed and you will learn more...

As a note they are not all that common so it may take awhile to find a pup if this is the breed that you are interested in.

Hopefully you find the right dog for your situation...

I wish you the best!

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If you want a pointer then I'd look at the wire haired pointing breeds. German Wirehair, Griffon, etc... or a pointing lab.

If you want a flusher then it's lab, springer, cocker.

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Thought I would share a few pic's of my Griffon from an early December trip to South Dakota.. She had just turned 8 months old when these pic's were taken. Two of the mornings the temp was minus 5 when we stepped out of the truck. She really is a star and I hope to have many wonderful years with this dog.. She loves to hunt!!!

I hope you enjoy the pic's....

This is the first time that I have tried posting pic's so I hope this works....

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg32/joelconrad1/Joel%20Avitar/07%20in%20SD/BelleSD120607.jpg

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg32/joelconrad1/Joel%20Avitar/07%20in%20SD/Bellebirds120707.jpg

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg32/...eldSD120507.jpg

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg32/joelconrad1/Joel%20Avitar/07%20in%20SD/BelleSD120407.jpg

http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg32/...rieve120707.jpg

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Here is my Griffon. One thing about Griffons - they are pretty diverse in the way they look.

zeusdougmt4.jpg

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i second glens vote. Im not a fan for my dogs, i have a black lab 1y3m old and shes the smalles lab iv ever seen everything a guy could want in a bird dog. have you had a bad expierence with labs,why do you want to switch? iv heard brits,spans,wires,grifs,shorthairs,are all uncontrolably wild temper.

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Quote:

"iv heard brits,spans,wires,grifs,shorthairs,are all uncontrolably wild temper."

Classic. lol

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 Quote:
iv heard brits,spans,wires,grifs,shorthairs,are all uncontrolably wild temper.

Kind of goes against what your signature states huh?

I'm also a Griffon owner and they are far from having a "uncontrolably wild temper" We also have just added a English Pointer Pup 15 weeks old to our home. Which I'd like to say is at the other end of the spectrum of the pointing breeds compared to the Griffon. They run alot bigger and have alot more range but that's what we were looking for in our next pup because we are very active in NAVHDA & Upland Bird Hunting and we wanted a big running dog. The Griffon or other Wirehaired breeds might be something to consider since you did mention Waterfowl Hunting.

I think some people mistake "Desire & Drive" in the pointing breeds as hyperactivity & uncontrolable. The pointing breeds require a good amount of excercise & running. If this is done on a regular basis these dogs are great pets for the home. It's when owners don't spend the time to run their dogs regularly that they become wild. These dogs are atheletes & they need their daily excercise.

Good Luck in your search,

Chris

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 Originally Posted By: 2 DA GILLS
Quote:

"iv heard brits,spans,wires,grifs,shorthairs,are all uncontrolably wild temper."

Classic. lol

Yeah, nice. Better add labs, setters, poodles, schnauzers, yorkies, pugs, beagles, collies, and chihuahuas to that list of vicious pooches. \:\)

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lol it was a joke.

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